After years of helping small businesses plan marketing strategies, we’re astounded at how many do not have websites. Before we delve into the crux of this blog, which will discuss what small and local businesses absolutely need implemented when having small business website design created, let’s first take a quick look at 10 of the most common questions and concerns small business owners pose about getting a website:
- Does my business really need a website?
- What is the cost involved?
- I already have a page on someone else’s website…why do I need two?
- I don’t sell merchandise online…why would I need a website?
- I don’t even use a computer…I can’t handle small business website design.
- Our customers like the personal touch and most aren’t computer savvy to say the least.
- I have a cousin who can make websites; I’ve promised him that he can do ours.
- Our upcoming advertising commitments will use up all of our marketing budget.
- A website seems so “sterile” and impersonal; it won’t add to “our kind” of customer base that was built on personal relationships.
- I wouldn’t know what to do with a website if I had one.
Are you already shaking your head after reading some of these? The Internet gives everyone access, targeting no one in particular; the Internet user chooses where to look, just as they choose what newspaper to buy or what television show to watch. If your business is not there, it won’t be found.
Small Business Website Design & Visibility
There are over eight billion web pages indexed in the Google search engine. So let’s put it this way: The top three commercial markets on the web, Technology, Real Estate and Travel, and Technology-oriented businesses, know they need a website. If you’re in real estate – even as an individual agent – YOU NEED A WEBSITE. If your business markets to travelers and their need for accommodations, restaurants, specialty shopping, tickets, travel wear, recreational products, travel gear, animal care or children’s activities YOU NEED A WEBSITE. Statistics show that seven out of ten people will turn to the Internet for information before they purchase real estate or set a travel itinerary.
When it comes to small business website design, there are a myriad of different approaches and some are more effective than others. For starters, it’s vital to understand this: If you’re a small business owner, you don’t need an expensive site with all the bells and whistles; a basic site that allows your customers to access your business online will do. The really important part to doing online business is EXPOSURE: If your site isn’t reaching enough potential customers on the Internet, you aren’t going to enjoying a lot of sales nowadays.
Small Business Website Design Tips
You also have to ensure your site is at the “happy medium” that attracts customers but doesn’t overwhelm them as soon as they land upon it; having too much to see on, and use on, your website can confuse some customers, thus forcing them to choose a simpler solution for their needs. On the other hand, you may need more to one-up your competition.
To effectively market your business online you DO need to choose a business web design team, and an experienced web designer will know what to include on your site while determining what isn’t really necessary specific to you. There are a bevy of options to choose from here, and including “everything but the kitchen sink” isn’t the best practice. Some options may cause your page to load painfully slow, and customers don’t want to hang around an unresponsive site. It’s also important to include options that allow customers to purchase products right on your site, so they won’t have to call to place an order; trust us – the easier it is to make a purchase, the more likely a customer is to buy through you.
We understand that there are a lot of factors at play to think about and that your budget dictates the options that are best for you. Ensuring to market your site properly and optimize it for search engines is a key component, as this will make sure that your business will be one of the first your potential customer finds. The closer you are to the top of that list, the more likely your site will be visited by lots of customers.
There’s a whole new world of business out there for small business owners…and it starts with getting your small business website design up and running.